DEA and partners collect thousands of pounds of unwanted medications and vaping products during the 18th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
NEW ORLEANS – Americans nationwide have once again shown their strong support for DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day by dropping off nearly 883,000 pounds of medications during the October 2019 Take Back event.
DEA, along with its law enforcement partners, has now collected nearly 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010. On Oct. 26, the public turned in 882,919 pounds – almost 442 tons – of medication to DEA and 4,896 of its community partners at 6,174 collection sites nationwide, including 135 Bureau of Indian Affairs sites.
Beginning with October’s campaign, DEA accepted vaping devices and cartridges in addition to medications at all of its drop-off locations. With hundreds of confirmed lung injuries and dozens of deaths attributed to vaping use, DEA is working diligently in our communities and through our outreach efforts to spread the word about the dangers of vaping.
“DEA’s Take Back Day events provide citizens with a safe way to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs and to reduce the threat they pose to public health and safety,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley. “Residents in this four-state region took an important step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse by turning in over 40,000 pounds of medications. DEA thanks the public for their support in this effort to keep these drugs out of the wrong hands. In an effort to combat another emerging public health threat – particularly to our nation’s youth – we’re pleased to have extended the same opportunity to those looking to dispose of harmful vaping products.”
The public has embraced Take Back Day events because they provide easy, no-cost opportunities to remove medicines languishing in the home that are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft. Public demand for safe and secure drug disposal has also resulted in a significant increase in year-round drug drop boxes at law enforcement facilities, pharmacies, and elsewhere, making drug disposal even more convenient.
DEA’s New Orleans Field Division (NOFD), which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, collected 40,808 pounds of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at collection sites throughout the division. The amounts collected for each state within the NOFD was the following: Louisiana – 4,294 pounds; Mississippi – 3,813 pounds; Alabama – 5,127 pounds; and Arkansas – 27,575 pounds.
Complete results for DEA’s spring Take Back Day are available at www.DEATakeBack.com.
DEA’s next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 25, 2020.